"BlacKkKlansman" Press Conference - The 71st Annual Cannes Film Festival
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Spike Lee, John David Washington, Laura Harrier Talk 'BlacKkKlansman' And Meaning Of Black Power

Spike Lee and the cast of 'BlacKkKlansman' talk about the empowering message of the film, and what Black Power means to them. 

Throughout the years of his epic filmmaking career, Spike Lee has crafted a bevy of tangible and poignant stories that mirror the complexities of the black experience in America. No one can deny his genius. On the latest addition to his extensive catalogue, BlacKkKlansman, the veteran tells the story of Ron Stallworth (played by John David Washington), a black police officer in the '70s who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan and fooled its xenophobic leader David Duke (played by Topher Grace).

With his white redneck faux accent, Washington (yes, Denzel’s son) excels on his first feature film. The story starts out with him playing an undercover cop at a Colorado Springs Black Students Union event where Kwame Ture (Corey Hawkins) gives a Black Panther speech. There, he meets the beautiful Patrice (Laura Harrier), a fierce activist who loathes any form of authority and radically advocates for black people. Because he is a cop, he attempts at hiding his profession from her in efforts to pursue her.

For Harrier, the part was an eye-opening experience about the Black Panthers. Her character in the film is based on Black Panther activist, Kathleen Cleaver. “What I really took away was how young she was when this was happening,” Harrier told VIBE about Cleaver’s influence. “Reading and seeing her at the height of the Panthers. They seem like these mythical heroes—she was like 21, 22 at the time. She was this person that stood up for what she believed, and started to stand up for what she thought was right.”

Following his father’s footsteps, Washington nailed the part. It was a no-brainer for Spike to cast him. So much so, that an audition wasn’t necessary. “I knew he could do it,” Lee said. “I had 100 percent confidence in him. I did not ask him to audition or read for me. I said, ‘Here, let’s do it.’ And he delivered.”

On a recent Sunday afternoon in New York City, VIBE caught up with Spike, John David Washington and Laura Harrier where they talked about the empowering message of the film, and what black power means to them. Watch the interviews below.

READ MORE: Spike Lee: 30 Years Of Fightin’ The Power (Digital Cover) 

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The Game Reboot Lands At Paramount+ Streaming Service

A revival of the BET’s The Game is officially in development under the ViacomCBS digital subscription streaming service Paramount+, which was originally branded as CBS All Access.

The series reboot was announced on Tuesday (Sept. 15), along with a list of original and rebooted shows headed for the streaming outlet which includes a limited series chronicling the making of The Godfather, a new edition of VH1’s Behind the Music, and the true crime docuseries, The Real Criminal Minds. The programming will join CBS All Access’ list of more than 20,000 episodes and movies across BET, MTV, CBS, Comedy Central, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, and more.

Although no details have been released about The Game revival, the series will fall under BET’s Paramount+ programming from CBS Television Studios and Garment Productions. It’s unclear if any of the show's original cast members like, Tia Mowry, Pooch Hall, and Wendy Raquel Robinson, will be involved in the new installment.

The hit sports series was created by Mara Brock Akil, as a spinoff of her other hit sitcom, Girlfriends. Akil recently inked an overall deal with Netflix to develop new projects for the streamer. The company also acquired the rights to Girlfriends, Sister, Sister, Moesha, and The Parkers.

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50 Cent Developing Starz Series About Beef With The Game

Add a couple more credits to 50 Cent’s long list of TV projects. The rapper-turned-TV-producer inked a deal to develop two new series for Starz, one of which will explore his feud with The Game, the cable network announced on Monday (Sept. 14).

The seasonal anthology series tentatively titled, Moment in Time: The Massacre, chronicles “true stories in which iconic hip hop moments collided with the sensational and sometimes criminal events behind the scenes.” Season one focuses on the beef between Fif and Game that “led to an all-street war, pitting G-Unit against music impresario Jimmy Henchman.”

Henchman, The Game’s former manager, is currently serving life for the murder-for-hire of a G-Unit affiliate. Moment in Time will be written and executive produced by Abdul William, who penned The Bobby Brown Story, The New Edition Story, Lottery Ticket, and Lifetime’s forthcoming Salt-N-Pepa mini series.

Inspired by the life of sports agent and attorney Nicole Lynn, who serves as executive producer, the second series follows a Black female sports agent’s rise up the ranks in the male dominated industry of sports agents. Tash Grey will produce the series and pen the script. Grey’s notable credits include the Power spinoff Raising Kanan, Snowfall, P-Valley, and the true-crime drama, Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.

Both series will be executive produced by 50 Cent and his G-Unit Film & Television imprint.

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Netflix Acquires ‘Malcolm & Marie’ Starring Zendaya, John David Washington

Netflix has acquired the rights to the film Malcolm & Marie staring Zendaya and John David Washington in a $30 million deal during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The streaming giant beat out HBO, Amazon, Searchlight, Apple and MGM among others in a bidding war over the film, Deadline reports.

Shot on 35mm black and white film, Malcolm & Marie, tells the story of a filmmaker (portrayed by Washington) who returns home with his girlfriend after a celebrating the premiere of his latest movie. Things take a turn as revelations about the couple’s relationship rise to the surface, changing the mood of the evening.

Malcolm & Marie pic.twitter.com/99RWzgLFbD

— Zendaya (@Zendaya) July 8, 2020

Malcolm & Marie was written, directed and produced by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, who penned the script in less than a week. Aside from starring in the romantic drama, Zendaya and Washington serve as executive producers on the project.

“I am so grateful to this cast and crew, many of whom are my ‘Euphoria’ family, for coming together during such uncertain times,” Levinson said in a statement. “We felt privileged to be able to make this film together and we did so with a lot of love. We are all thrilled that it has ended up with Netflix which is unparalleled in allowing filmmakers the freedom to tell their stories that reach audiences all over the world.”

The film was shot amid the COVID-19 pandemic at a quarantine location in California in mid-June. Over the course of the two week shoot, heavy precautions were taken to ensure the health and safety of the cast and crew including social distancing, increased sanitary measures, and daily temperature checks.

Netflix’s acquisition of Malcolm & Marie follows an onslaught of TIFF films scooped up by  the company, with Halle Berry’s Bruised among the lot. The film marks Berry’s directorial debut and was sold to Netflix for a reported $20 million.

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